Having your unsuspecting and hard-working plumbing system get stuck due to copious amounts of crumbs, orange peel, viscous liquids, and God knows what else can be quite irritating.
Not only can this stop the flow of dirty water in the pipes, but it can also cause your sink to overflow and let the aforementioned nasty liquid spill over on your floor, creating a big mess.
To prevent this unfortunate turn of events from ever happening to you, you can: A) Take special care not to drop anything too large in your sink, and B) Get a state-of-the-art garbage disposal unit, stick it underneath the sink, and never worry about junk blocking your pipes again!
This clever contraption was first developed in 1927 by a bloke called John W. Hammes. The patent for this marvelous machine was issued soon afterward, and a couple of years later, many homes in the US were equipped with one of their own garbage disposal units! (Or ‘garburators’, as they call them in Canada, ey!)
In this article, we’ll talk about these useful kitchen appliances. We’ll explain how to install one, what are the benefits of using them, as well as organize a brief buying guide for you in case you fancy purchasing one of these. Also, we’ve amassed a hefty list of the 10 best garbage disposal units, so you can pick and choose the model that suits your needs to your heart’s content!
Alright then, let’s start this one off with the buyer’s guide. (To help you orient yourself around these contraptions if you’re new to the whole ‘garbage disposing of’ thing.)
Garbage Disposal Units – A Brief Buyer’s Guide
Types of Garbage Disposal Units
Continuous-Feed Models – As their name itself suggests, continuous-feed garbage disposal units can destroy food and junk shards and mill them into small pieces – continuously. This means that the process itself is to a great extent automated, so you won’t have to wait until the unit is full and then hit the button to make it do its thing. So, these are easier to use, really.
Batch-Freed Models – The batch-freed garbage disposers function on roughly the same principle as the continuous-feed models, the only difference being that these don’t run on their own. To make them grind garbage, you have to wait until their full, and then press a button or two to make them start working. In comparison to continuous-feed models, batch-feeding ones require you to be present to operate them, so it can be said that they’re not as convenient. (But they still do a good job once you rile them up.)
When it comes to the power output garbage disposal units can generate, it’s measured in horsepower. For example, the range of horsepower for home garbage disposal units tends to go from 1/2 HP to 1 HP.
Typically, models on the lower end of the power output scale can tackle softer pieces of garbage, such as carrot leftovers or some tough pieces of fruit such as nut shells. If you regularly need to dispose of tougher waste, such as bones, you’ll need a more powerful garbage disposal unit. (Models ranging from 3/4 HP to 1 HP should do the trick.)
Representing the most important part of a garbage disposal unit, the grinding chamber is the place where the waste food gets ground into smaller pieces and thus destroyed. To ensure your garbage disposer will be able to take care of bones and other tough food waste, you might want to consider getting a model with a stainless-steel grinding chamber.
Although this doesn’t necessarily guarantee 100% success all the time, it’d still be your best bet for a sturdy and long-lasting garbage-disposing kitchen utensil.
This feature can be a lifesaver.
One of the biggest problems with garbage disposal units is the fact that they can sometimes get stuck. No matter how tough and efficient your waste destroyer happens to be, chances are – sooner or later, it’s going to get jammed.
Now, some clever garbage disposer designers who have been experiencing this problem long enough decided to equip their machines with a means of unjamming a jammed grinding chamber – the auto-reverse mode. The principle is simple: if the grinder gets jammed, run it in reverse the unjam it!
A pretty clever feature you should look for when buying a garbage disposal unit, for sure.
Any sort of machine that’s got a powerful rotating blade hacking through bone ‘n’ other tough substances is going to produce some noise. Garbage disposal units are no different.
In order to reduce the noise to the minimum, however, the manufacturers of these contraptions have made all sorts of efforts to make their products better insulated, and thus less noisy. This, however, also means that the quitter the garbage disposal unit, the bulkier it’s going to be.
So, if you don’t like big and bulky machines in your kitchen, but also can’t stand constant noise, you’ll need to find a fine balance between these two seemingly inseparable aspects of these otherwise useful machines.
Okay, now that we’ve acquainted ourselves with the intricacies of garbage disposal units, let’s see our top 10 list of products. Only top tier stuff here, folks, so pay close attention!
#1 InSinkErator – Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Household Garbage Disposal
Only a quarter of a horsepower shy of a full 1 HP rating, this InSinkErator model is a piece of garbage-removing technology that can tackle even some of the toughest bones and marrows in your kitchen.
Quiet Performance – Thanks to the unique sound seal technology devised by the designers at InSinkErator, this model can break through all sorts of tough foods without making much noise.
Powerful Induction Motor – … delivering 3/4-the of a horsepower. That’s like having 3/4ths of a horse trying to grind scrap carrots and beef bones. Plenty of power from a relatively small motor that can fit under your sink.
Easy Installation – With this model, you won’t really have to do much work when it comes to installation. Thanks to its quick lock system, all you have to do is click it in place and that’s it.
Generous Warranty – To ensure the user is protected against various instances of malfunctioning and other mishaps connected to using this garbage disposal unit, the InSinkErator company offers a rather generous 4-year limited warranty on this product.
- Powerful 3/4 HP motor
- Quiet performance thanks to sound seal technology
- Made out of stainless steel
- Quick lock in the installation system
- 4-year limited warranty
- Does not come with a power cord
- Quite expensive
#2 Moen – GX Series 3/4 HP Garbage Disposal
With an appearance reminiscent of an airplane black box, this garbage disposal unit is a tough and sturdy contraption that offers a steady and reliable operation for years to come.
Magnet-Based Motor – Offering 3/4 HP of grinding power, the Moen GX Series garbage disposer works using Vortex motor technology.
Easy Installation – The engineers at Moen made sure they equipped this garbage disposer with a universal Xpress mount for easy and pretty much tool-free installation.
Low Noise Levels – GX Series garbage disposer offers a quiet operation thanks to its sound shield technology, which muffles the noises produced by the motor and the grinder.
Hefty Warranty – Similarly to the product above, this model also comes with a 4-year limited warranty issued by the manufacturer.
- Vortex motor technology based on magnets
- Easy installation thanks to Xpress mount
- Quiet operation
- Removable power cord
- 4-year warranty
- Some users have complained that this unit is not as quiet as advertised
- On the expensive side of the price scale
#3 GE – 1/2 HP Continuous-Feed Garbage Food Disposal
Featuring a simple build and fairly reliable in use, this GE’s continuous-feed disposal unit can be an excellent solution for a person or a family working on a smaller budget.
Magnet Motor – … capable of delivering 1/2 HP, which is more than enough for most of your waste food-disposing tasks. (Of course, tougher scraps such as bones and vegetables should be treated differently. Possible with a more powerful disposer.)
Tough Build – The designers didn’t exactly go wild with the blueprints for this model. What you get is a simple cylindrical shape made out of high-quality stainless steel. What more could you ask for?
Large Capacity – Thanks to its large grinding bowl, this model can go on grinding scraps of food for long periods before it needs emptying or cleaning.
No Effort Installation – To make the lives of people who are not professional plumbers easier, the manufacturers over at GE made sure this product comes with an EZ mount for, what else – easy mounting!
- Made out of high-quality stainless steel
- EZ mount for easy installation
- Removable splash guard
- 1/2 HP permanent magnet motor
- Some users have reported poor drainage performance
- Unjamming it can be a pain in the neck
#8 InSinkErator – Evolution Household Garbage Disposal
Sleek design and a mighty motor that can grind down everything in its path into a fine pulp are the features that make this InSinkErator Evolution a high-end product in the world of garbage disposal units!
Mighty Motor – As we said above, only the top of the line garbage disposal units have a 1HP motor. This InSinkErator model has got one! (And the price is adjusted accordingly, of course.)
MultiGrind System – In contrast to the other garbage disposers, this model has got three stages of grinding, each tackling tough pieces of food as they are fed down the grinder.
Chunky Grind Chamber – Not only does this model feature three grinding stages, but it also comes with a large grinding chamber! This means you can grind more products quickly and easily.
Attractive Warranty – of no less than 7 years! (Of course, it’s limited and in-home based, but still – it’s 7 years.)
- Noise cancellation technology
- Three stages of grinding
- A large, 40 oz grinding chamber
- Powerful, 1HP motor
- 7-year limited warranty
- Power cord not included in this offer
- Fairly expensive
#5 InSinkErator – Badger 5 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord
Last but not least, as our entry number 10, we’ve got another Badger 5 from the InSinkErator folks. This time around, however, they’ve stuck a power cord to it mercifully. (This means you won’t have to invite an electrician to do this for you.)
Dura-Drive Motor – … designed to work long hours and hack away at everything in its path. As long as it’s not too tough to chew through, of course. It has got 1/2 HP, which is enough for a medium-sized household.
Special InSinkErator Warranty – This 2-year warranty means the InSinkErator technicians will come to your house to fix this unit in case it starts acting up.
Easy Installation – Thanks to a quick lock-in mount system, this contraption will easily slip into position during installation. No need to force it in or otherwise alter the initial design to make it fit in.
Power Cord Included – The main difference between this model and the one sitting all pretty at spot number 2 is the fact that this one actually comes with a power cord. Quite convenient if you’re not really electricity-savvy, so to speak.
- 1/2 HP induction motor
- Comes with a factory-installed power cord
- Made in the USA
- Quick Lock Sink Mount for Easy Installation
- The instruction manual could have been written a bit better
- Some users have reported rattling
6. GE – 1/2 HP Continuous-Feed Disposal Large Capacity Food Waste Disposer
- Powerful 1/2 HP permanent magnet motor
- Works at 2,800 RPM
- EZ mount installation
- Anti-jam blades
- Plastic parts can be brittle
- Some users have had bad experiences with rubber gaskets which are too thin
Coming from a company famous for its high-end products in the department of electrical appliances, this General Electric 1/2 HP continuous-feed disposal food waste is a powerful and durable garbage-destroying contraption. It produces 2800 RPM of grinding action!
Permanent Magnet Motor – … delivering solid 1/2 HP at a continuous rate, so to speak. This is enough to tackle the garbage disposing needs of a medium-sized family.
EZ Mount Installation – A feature that’s bound to make life easier to everyone who’s ever found it difficult to do anything more complex than changing the lightbulb. Even complete rookies can do it with EZ mount.
Durable Materials – Made out of tough stainless steel, this garbage disposal unit can survive a nuclear blast!
Anti-jam feature – As we’ve said above already, the bane of all garbage disposers is that they tend to jam every now and then. To battle this, the folks at GE equipped this contraption with a simple but effective anti-jam feature. So, even if this unit does get jammed, you won’t have to worry about it.
7. Kitchen Aid – 1/2 HP Continuous-Feed Garbage Disposal
- Continuous-feed model (no button-pushing, no funny business)
- Made out of stainless steel
- Comes with a prepared electrical switch
- The motor rotates at 1725 RPM for optimal performance
- Can get pretty loud
- Doesn’t have an unjamming feature
Look like an oversized bullet, in all likelihood, and packing a hefty enough punch to deal with a wide variety of food scraps, this Kitchen Aid 1/2 HP continuous-feed garbage disposal unit is a kitchen appliance perfect for a medium-sized family. (Up to four people grand total.)
Continuous Feed – … enables you to get rid of excess food waste without having to lift a finger. Simply chuck the leftover scraps into your sink and witness them get ground into a fine, if fairly vile, pulp.
High-Velocity Motor – Revolving at about 1725 RPM, the small but plucky half a horsepower motor installed in this Kitchen Aid food waste destroyer can tackle even the most stubborn leftovers with efficiency and style.
Tough Build – … able to survive years of continuous use. The manufacturers of this model decided to go for stainless steel, a material well known for its durability, as well as the ability not to rust.
Electrical Switch – Plugging in this device into your power grid is a piece of cake. You don’t need an engineering degree to make it happen since there’s an inbuilt electrical switch you can use for this purpose straight away.
8. Waste King 9980 1 HP
- Comes with a high-speed motor
- Made out of high-quality stainless steel
- Pre-installed power cord
- 3-bolt mounting system
- Lifetime warranty
- A bit loud
- Some users have reported leaks
Rocking an appearance of some sort of sci-fi ashtray, this Waste King garbage disposal unit can be an excellent choice for a person in need of a rubbish-destroying contraption that can tackle all sorts of waste, AND look good in the process. And also, this unit doesn’t make that much noise, either, so there’s that, as well.
Powerful Motor – … delivering 1 whole horsepower, which is enough to make bones, tough vegetable peels, and other hard pieces of garbage into a fine, disposable powder. Sound-insulated and doesn’t jam, either!
Lifetime Warranty – There’s no doubt that folks at Waste King are more than confident in the quality of their product. To display this proud feeling, they’re issuing their product with a rather hefty limited lifetime warranty.
Power Cord – Typically, garbage disposal units don’t come with inbuilt power cords. To make your life as a user easier, the folks at Waste King have made sure that this device has got one. No need to putter around with cords and wires!
Strong Build – Waste King garbage disposal units are well-known for their durability. This model is no exception, as it is made out of stainless steel – a material known for its rust-free and reliability properties.
9. InSinkErator Badger 5 1/2 HP Food Waste Disposer and Power Cord Kit
- Stainless steel grinding chamber
- Anti-vibration connection
- Dishwasher drain connection
- Permanently lubricated
- Made in the USA
- 2-year limited warranty
- Doesn’t come with a cord
- Some users have reported leaks at the bottom
Here we have a product with a cheeky name coming from a cheekily named company. That’s right folks, the InSinkErator’s Badger 5 (Sounds like Saturn 5 rocket!) is a high-end garbage disposal unit made in the USA perfect for a family who eats a varied diet, so to speak, and so has a diversified pile of rubbish to dispose of on a daily basis!
Dura-Drive Induction Motor – Wielding 1/2 HP of power, this clever and fairly powerful motor is perfectly capable of tackling some of the toughest pieces of garbage you throw at it. Also, it’s got special protection in the shape of the manual reset overload.
Thoroughly Lubricated – You won’t have to worry about lubricating any of the moving parts inside this contraption as the folks at InSinkErator did this for you already. Both upper and lower bearings are permanently lubricated.
Power Cord Kit, CRD-00- 3 foot Power Cord Kit contains all of the necessary parts for installation. They have clear installation instructions so, you will not have any problem to install it.
Made in the USA – All parts of this product are invented, designed, and assembled in the USA. Quality and durability are at the forefront of priorities for the InSinkErator folks.
2-Year In-Home Limited Warranty – The manufacturers of this product issue a rather generous 2-year limited warranty, so you won’t have to worry in case something goes wrong. (Within the two years, of course. After that, you’re on your own.)
10. Waste King L-111 with Power Cord, 1/3 HP
- Easy installation and cleaning
- 1/3 HP motor
- EZ mount
- Comes with a pre-installed cord
- Continuous-feed model
- 5-year limited in-home warranty
- Plastic body
- Some users have been reporting mold problems
As our entry number 3, we’ve got another product from the famous Waste King company. This particular model offers 1/2 HP in the power department, so it’s perfect for a medium-sized family who would use their garbage disposal unit moderately.
Easy Installation – Thanks to the special EZ mount design, you can install this model quickly and easily, without having to cut or adjust anything in the process.
Splashguard – Garbage disposal units can get dirty fairly easily. (That is in the description of their job, after all.) To ensure you can clean up the mess when it accumulates over time, the folks at Waste King installed a special splashguard on this product. The thing is removable, so you won’t have to disassemble the whole unit in order to clean it!
Continuous-Feed – This contraption is one of the continuous-feed models we’ve described above. Your only job is to flip the switch to get it going, and then the rest will be its job!
Pre-Installed Power Cord – You don’t have to putter about with electricity to make this garbage disposal unit come to life. Simply plug it in your nearest power outlet et voila! – it’s up and running.
How to Install a Garbage Disposal Unit – Brief Explanation in Steps
- Switch off the circuit breaker and carefully dismantle the drainpipes underneath your sink. Make sure to put a bucket there as well, because it will get wet in all probability.
- Arrange the parts of the disposal unit underneath the sink. First, apply some plumbing putty on the flange and stick it in place. After that, attach fiber gasket, backup flange, and the mounting ring in that order. Tighten everything with the provided screws and clean up any putty that’s come out of the joints.
- Remove the drain plug from the disposal unit itself. (You may need a hammer and a screwdriver for this.) Connect an electrical cord to the wires from the disposer. (If it doesn’t originally come with a cord. If it does, don’t touch anything.)
- Attach the drain of the disposer (top part) to the bottom part of your sink. (The attaching parts you’ve prepared in steps 1 and 2.) Use bolts to tighten and align the unit with the sink. After you’ve finished, mount the drainpipes back into their place and you’re ready to go for a test run!